The Quest for Feedback and The Varying Rewards

Alan Belniakbusiness, Marketing1 Comment

I’ve been slowly installing Lutron Caseta wireless-activated dimmer switches and lamp dimmers in my house. I recently looked at the back page of the instructions and noted this:
Lutron Caseta - feedback for extended warranty - Subjectively Speaking

“Love Caseta Wireless dimmers? Have ideas for making them better? Tell us what you think and we’ll extend your warranty by one year.


We also recently got a new dishwasher.  When looking through the paperwork and manuals and such, I saw this:
Bosch Dishwasher - feedback via review for iPad - Subjectively Speaking
“An iPad for your thoughts. We’re giving away one iPad every quarter. Write your review and you’ll be entered for a chance to win. In the US,

Two Sides of the Same Feedback Coin

In the first case, one company is asking you to invest in them. You’re likely an aficionado if you do. This isn’t a case of you simply telling them, “hey I bought your stuff” (though you are, by registering). By doing so, you’re doubling your warranty. And helping them make the product better by giving them what many companies desire: direct, end-consumer feedback. And for this, they aren’t sacrificing much in return (if they built a good product, then extending the warranty isn’t a huge outlay).

In the second case, one company is essentially trading positive words (or not, I guess) for them for a chance to win a fancy electronic device.  Most folks I know would like an iPad. And from what I’ve read, most Bosch dishwashers operate well and are generally considered good. So maybe it’s not a stretch to hope for/expect a positive review. In the end, a non-positive review is better than a negative review.

In each case, each company is seeking feedback on its products. And there’s a clear quid-pro-quo at play: you give us feedback, we’ll give you something you want. Although alike, the differences are stark.

“Help us Help You”

Lutron is seeking feedback on making the product better. Better for you if you are a repeat customer. Better for prospects and future customers because they are incorporating real user feedback, instead of guessing. And the reward? Well, it’ll be free to fix or replace a little while longer (via an extended warranty), and since Lutron Caseta devices are not cheap, this is nice.

“Help Us Help Us”

Bosch is seeking praise, and public praise at that. Yes, they are seeking a review, but let’s be clear here: they want a positive review, and their products can mostly earn them. So with a little bait, they increase their total review count, and ideally their total positive review count. All in the name of shiny, desirable, technology.

I know these are two different products and two different use cases. But the comparison is an interesting one.

What about you?  What do you think?